This is not what empowerment looks like.
No, it is not. It is what fear, shock, and confusion looks like. This, however does look like someone who holds power over someone else,
Not to say that Kurt would ever actually do that, but he could. He knew that.
And so did
And I think that was more or less the point of that person’s post. That there was more to that scene than what was obvious, that the situation was COMPLICATED, and the shift in power dynamics between Kurt Hummel and Dave Karofsky even more.
So much so, that oversimplifying the situation, like OP is doing here, is PROBLEMATIC. Treating this scene and that dynamic in this manner obscures the bigger picture here, that both boys are victims, both in radically different yet similar ways, and where they stand with that fact in mind should affect how they should be judged.
Looking at their dynamic in simple black and white terms, with one being the victim and the other a abuser, creates a deeply skewed viewpoint that completely misses what is actually going on between these two, and inevitably leads to accusations of RAPE and SEXUAL ASSAULT. Accusations which marginalize those who have actually experienced these traumas, which again, is PROBLEMATIC.
I’m with this respondent up until the last paragraphs; I don’t disagree that both have been victimized. I would add that both have suffered the same structural victimization, and that Karofsky utilized that structural oppression for years even as he suffered under it, which is a point that the poster of the essay and this respondent seem to skip over. To be honest, I think that’s part of what’s driving people crazy, and in fairness the OP never stated that she was setting out to write an exhaustive presentation of the relationship between these two characters. It’s that things read out of context (like, perhaps, this gif set?) are often understood as more global in their application than they’re meant to be.
I’m not tripping over consent in the original essay; it’s hard to see from this vantage point in human history but it’s a complicated social construct, in the same way that all human rights are, ultimately, social constructs. I find the concentration on Karofsky’s consent issues to the exclusion of Kurt’s a little troubling, but in a way that I can understand, given the focus of her essay; this is not a new concept to me, believe it or not. Mostly I find that the OP oversimplifies the nature of power, which is why this gif focused on that.
I found this sentence in the original essay somewhat troubling: Dave is not exercising power over Kurt in this moment by kissing him without his consent; if anything, through this act, Dave is radically disempowering himself by according Kurt a piece of information which is potentially very damaging to himself because it fails to acknowledge that both are true. It’s not an either/or situation.
My point, made in this image set and elsewhere, is that (a) Kurt does not experience this as a shift in power dynamics; to him, the experience is the same oppression but on a different playing field; and (b) Karofsky’s disempowering of himself hands Kurt power he never sought and seems ill-equipped to handle for a while, and that is inherently a stripping of agency. Whatever happens later, Kurt still loses power over his body in this interaction and others. I’m thinking particularly of the scene in Furt when Karofsky bodychecks Kurt into the lockers and snatches the cake topper, when Kurt explicitly says he doesn’t want Karofsky anywhere near him. Not all power systems in the world end with the large structural ones the OP chooses to focus on.
So I don’t think I’m looking at things in black and white terms; I think I just see other shades of grey.
…And now I’m done talking about this, at least here. Drinks? Totally different matter.